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CHAPTER XVI-RURAL TELEPHONE BANK,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE
RURAL TELEPHONE BANK Sec. 1600.1 General. 1600.2 Definitions. 1600.3 Open meetings. 1600.4 Scheduling of meetings. 1600.5 Public announcement of meetings. 1600.6 Bases for closing a meeting to the
public. 1600.7 Procedures for closing a meeting to
the public. 1600.8 Transcript, recording or minutes;
availability to the public. AUTHORITY: 7 U.S.C. 941 et seq.; Pub. L. 103– 354, 108 Stat. 3178 (7 U.S.C. 6941 et seq.).
SOURCE: 56 FR 49134, Sept. 27, 1991, unless otherwise noted.
Meetings of the Board of Directors
of the Rural Telephone Bank $ 1600.1 General.
The purpose of this part is to effectuate the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act. This part applies to the deliberations of a quorum of the Directors of the Bank required to take action on behalf of the Bank where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official Bank business. Any deliberation to which this part applies is hereinafter in this part referred to as a meeting of the Board of Directors.
achieve a consensus on a matter of official agency business or effectively predetermine official actions, the term Meeting does not include:
(1) Deliberations to determine whether a meeting or portions of a meeting will be open or closed or whether information pertaining to closed meetings will be disclosed;
(2) Calling a meeting at a date earlier than announced as provided in $ 1600.5;
(3) Changing the subject matter of a publicly announced meeting as provided in $ 1600.5;
(4) Disposition of Board business by circulation of materials to individual Board members;
(5) Staff briefings of Board members;
(6) Informal background discussions among Board members and staff which clarify issues and expose varying views; or
(7) Sessions with individuals from outside the Bank where Board members listen to a presentation and may elicit additional information.
Open to public observation means the right of any member of the public to attend and observe, but not participate or interfere in any way in an open meeting of the Board. $ 1600.3 Open meetings.
(a) Except as provided for in $1600.6 every portion of every meeting of the Board shall be open to public observation. Observation does not include participation or disruptive conduct by observers, and persons engaging in such conduct will be removed from the meeting. Documents being considered at meetings of the Board may be obtained subject to the exemptions set forth in $ 1600.8.
(b) Board members shall not jointly conduct or dispose of official Board business other than in accordance with this part.
(c) The Secretary of the Board shall be responsible for assuring that ample space, sufficient visibility, and adequate acoustics are provided for public observation of meetings of the Board. $ 1600.4 Scheduling of meetings.
A decision to hold a meeting of the Board should be made as provided in the bylaws of the Bank and at least ten days prior to the scheduled meeting
$ 1600.2 Definitions.
As used in this part:
Board means Board of Directors of the Rural Telephone Bank (Bank).
Director means an individual who is a member of the Board.
Legal Counsel means the legal counsel of the Bank.
Meeting means the deliberations (including those conducted by conference telephone call or by any other method) among a quorum of the Directors, where such deliberations determine or result in joint conduct of official business of the Board. For purposes of this part, each item on the agenda of a meeting is considered a meeting or a portion of a meeting. To the extent that the discussions do not result in the beginning of deliberations
date in order for the Secretary of the Bank to give the public notice required by $1600.5. Special meetings of the Board may be held on less than ten days notice if a majority of the Board determines by a recorded vote that Bank business requires that the special meeting be held on less than ten days notice. After public announcement of a meeting of the Board under the provisions of $1600.5, the subject matter thereof, or the determination to open or close a meeting, or portion thereof, may only be changed if a majority of the Directors determines by a recorded vote that business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change is possible.
ignated to respond to requests for information about the meeting.
(d) The time or place of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (a) of this section only if the Secretary publicly announces such change at the earliest practicable time. The subject matter of a meeting, or the determination of the Board to open or close a meeting, or portion of a meeting, to the public, may be changed following the public announcement required by this section only if:
(1) A majority of the Directors determines by a recorded vote that business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible; and
(2) The Secretary publicly announces such change and the vote of each Director upon such change at the earliest practicable time.
(e) The earliest practicable time, as used in this subsection, means as soon as possible, which should in few, if any, instances be later than the commencement of the meeting or portion in question.
(f) Each person interested in attending an open meeting of the Board should notify the Assistant Secretary of the Board at least one business day prior to the open meeting of their intention to attend the meeting. Any person who fails to do so may not be accommodated if there is insufficient space in the meeting room.
$ 1600.5 Public announcement of meet
ings. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, public announcement of open meetings and meetings or portions thereof closed under $1600.7 will be made at least seven days in advance of each meeting. Except to the extent that such information is determined to be exempt from disclosure under $1600.6, each such public announcement will state the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and telephone number of the official designated to respond to requests for information about the meeting. Each such announcement shall be submitted for publication in the FEDERAL REGISTER. Copies of the announcement shall also be mailed to holders of Class B and Class C Bank stock.
(b) If a meeting is closed, the Board may omit from the announcement information usually included, if and to the extent that it finds that disclosure would be likely to have any of the consequences listed in $ 1600.6.
(c) Where a majority of the Board members determine by recorded vote that Bank business requires that a meeting be called on less than ten days notice, public announcement shall be made at the earliest practicable time. Such announcement will state the time, place, and the subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and telephone number of the official des
$ 1600.6 Bases for closing a meeting to
the public. (a) A portion or portions of a Board meeting may be closed to the public and any information pertaining to such meeting otherwise required by $ 1600.3 to be disclosed to the public may be withheld, where the Board determines that public disclosure of information to be discussed at such meetings is likely to:
(1) Disclose matters that are:
(i) Specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy; and
(ii) In fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order.
(2) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Bank;
(3) Disclose matters specifically ex- mentation of a proposed action of the empted from disclosure by statute Board or of another agency, except (other than the Freedom of Informa- that this shall not apply in any intion Act, 5 U.S.C. 552), provided that stance where the content or nature of such statute:
the proposed action has already been (1) Requires that the matters be with- disclosed to the public or where the held from the public in such a manner Board is required by law to make such as to leave no discretion on the issue; disclosure on its own initiative prior to
taking final action on such proposal; or (ii) Establishes particular criteria for
(10) Specifically concern the Board's withholding or refers to particular participation in a civil action or protypes of matters to be withheld.
ceeding, an action in a foreign court or (4) Disclose trade secrets and com- international tribunal, or an arbitramercial or financial information ob- tion, or the initiation, conduct, or distained from a person and privileged or
position by the Board of a particular confidential;
case of formal agency adjudication pur(5) Involve accusing any person of a suant to the procedures in 5 U.S.C. 554 crime, or formally censuring any per- or otherwise involving a determination son;
on the record after opportunity for a (6) Disclose information of a personal
hearing. nature where disclosure would con
(b) Any Board meeting or portion stitute a clearly unwarranted invasion
thereof, which may be closed, or any of personal privacy;
information which may be withheld (7) Disclose investigatory records
under paragraph (a) of this section, will compiled for law enforcement purposes,
not be closed or withheld, respectively, or information which if written would
in any case where the Board finds the be contained in such records, but only to the extent that the production of public interest requires otherwise. such records or information would:
g 1600.7 Procedures for closing a meet(i) Interfere with enforcement pro- ing to the public. ceedings; (ii) Deprive a person of a right to a
(a) A majority of all Directors may fair trial or to an impartial adjudica
vote to close a meeting or withhold intion;
formation pertaining to that meeting. (iii) Constitute an unwarranted inva
A separate vote shall be taken with resion of personal privacy;
spect to any action under $1600.6(a). A (iv) Disclose the identity of a con
majority of the Board may act by takfidential source, and, in the case of a
ing a single vote with respect to a serecord compiled by a criminal enforce
ries of meetings, a portion or portions ment authority in the course of a
of which are proposed to be closed to criminal investigation, or by an agency
the public, or with respect to any inforconducting a lawful national security
mation concerning such series of meetintelligence investigation, confidential ings, so long as each meeting in such information furnished only by the con
series involves the same particular subfidential source;
ject matter and is scheduled to be held (v) Disclose investigative techniques
no more than thirty days after the iniand procedures; or
tial meeting in such series. The vote of (vi) Endanger the life or physical each Director participating in such safety of law enforcement personnel.
vote shall be recorded and no proxy (8) Disclose information contained in
shall be allowed. or related to examination, operating, (b) Whenever any person whose interor condition reports prepared by, on be- ests may be directly affected by a porhalf of, or for the use of the Bank or tion of the Board's meeting requests any other agency responsible for the that the Board close such portion to regulation or supervision of financial the public on the basis of exemptions institutions;
in paragraph (a)(5), (a)(6), or (a)(7) of (9) Disclose information the pre- $ 1600.6, the Board, upon request of any mature disclosure of which would be one of its members, will vote whether likely to significantly frustrate imple- or not to close such portion of the meeting. The vote of each Director par- documents considered in connection ticipating in such vote shall be re- with any action will be identified in corded and no proxy shall be allowed. such minutes.
(C) Before every Board meeting (b) The retention period for the closed on the basis of one or more of records required by paragraph (a) of the exemptions in $ 1600.6(a), the Legal this section will be for a period of at Counsel will publicly certify that, in least two years after the particular Counsel's opinion, the meeting may be Board meeting or until one year after closed to the public and shall state the conclusion of any Board proceeding each relevant exemption.
with respect to which the meeting or (d) Within one business day after any portion thereof was held, whichever ocvote taken pursuant to paragraph (a), curs later. (b), or (C) of this section, the Board will
(c) The Secretary of the Board will make publicly available a written copy
make promptly available to the public of the vote, reflecting the vote of each
the transcript, electronic recording, Board member. Except to the extent
transcription of the recording, or minthat such information is exempt from
utes of the discussion of any item on disclosure, if a meeting or portion of a
the agenda of a Board meeting, except meeting is to be closed to the public,
for such item or items of such discusthe Board will make publicly available
sion as the Board determines to conwithin one business day after the re
tain information which may be withquired vote a full written explanation
held on the basis of one or more of the of its action, together with a list of all
exemptions in $ 1600.6. persons expected to attend the meeting
(d) Requests for public inspection of and their affiliation.
electronic recording, transcripts or $ 1600.8 Transcript, recording or min
minutes of Board meetings shall be utes; availability to the public. made to the Assistant Secretary of the (a) The Secretary of the Board will
Board of Directors of the Rural Telemaintain the following records for each
phone Bank, room 4051-South Building, Board meeting,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14th
portion thereof which is closed to the public pursuant
Street and Independence Avenue SW., to a vote under $1600.7:
Washington, DC 20250. Requests for in(1) A copy of the Legal Counsel's cer
spection or copies of transcripts shall
specify the date of the meeting, the tification required by $ 1600.7; (2) A copy of a statement from the
name of the agenda and the agenda presiding officer which sets forth the
item number; this information will aptime and place of the closed meeting or
pear in the notice of the meeting. portion thereof and a list of persons
(e) The transcripts, minutes, or tranpresent; and
scriptions of electronic recordings of a (3) A complete verbatim transcript or
Board meeting will disclose the idenelectronic recording adequate to record
tity of each speaker, and will be furfully the proceedings of each Board
nished to any person at the actual cost meeting or portion of a meeting, ex
of transcription or duplication. cept that in the case of a meeting or portion of a meeting closed to the pub- PART 1610-LOAN POLICIES lic on the basis of exemptions in paragraph (a)(8) or (a)(10) of $1600.6, the
Sec. Secretary of the Board will maintain
1610.1 General. either a transcript, electronic record
1610.2 Definitions. ing, or a complete set of minutes. Such
1610.3 Loan authorizations. minutes shall fully and clearly describe
1610.4 Loan applications. all matters discussed and shall provide
1610.5 Minimum Bank loan. a full and accurate summary of actions
1610.6 Concurrent Bank and RUS cost-oftaken and the reasons therefor, includ
money loans. ing a description of each of the views
1610.7 Acquisition of certain exchange faexpressed on any item and the record cilities. of all roll-call vote reflecting the vote 1610.8 Adoption of applicable RUS policy. of each member of the question. All 1610.9 Class B stock.